Opposition Leader stalling appointment of Chancellor – President Granger
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, May 3, 2018
The appointment of a substantive Chancellor of the Judiciary is currently stalled following objections to the appointment of Justice Kenneth Benjamin by the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo.
“The ball is in the court of the Leader of the Opposition. I made my proposals. He simply rejected them. He has not made any counter-proposals, so there is nothing to discuss,” President Granger said.
The Head of State was at the time addressing media operatives on the sidelines of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) workshop for judges and prosecutors at the Guyana Pegasus earlier today.
Further, President Granger said he had looked forward to a timely settlement of the appointment which many deem critical to the effective functioning of the judiciary.
“I had hoped that we would have moved forward and been able to make subsequent appointments at this point, but I have to depend on his compliance. I know what needs to be done I am well advised, but I have to wait for the Leader of the Opposition to respond to my proposal.”
In February, the Opposition leader informed President Granger, by letter that he could not support the appointment of Justice Kenneth Benjamin as Chancellor of the Judiciary and Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards as Chief Justice. He did not give a reason for his decision.
The opposition leader told the president that he would be available for further talks on those judicial post. “Please be informed that I remain cognisant of the fundamental importance of securing substantive appointments to these two high constitutional offices. As a result, I am committed to continuous engagement with your Excellency until there is due compliance with Article 127 (1) of the Constitution,” the letter has stated.
Guyana’s constitution requires the opposition leader’s approval before the president’s nominees can be appointed to the aforementioned top judicial positions.
By: Kidackie Amsterdam.